July 19, 2024

Looting shops overnight, a section of highway was closed and stick-wielding protesters marched through Johannesburg on Sunday

President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday there was no justification for violence and that it was damaging efforts to rebuild the economy amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The unrest had mainly been concentrated in Zuma’s home province of KwaZulu-Natal, where he started serving a 15-month sentence for contempt of court on Wednesday night.

Police said disturbances were intensifying and 219 people had been arrested as the controversial ex-leader challenged his 15-month prison term in the country’s top court.

Zuma, 79, was sentenced late last month for defying a constitutional court order to give evidence at an inquiry investigating high-level corruption.

The decision to jail him resulted from legal proceedings and looting seen as a test of post-apartheid South Africa’s ability to enforce the rule of law, including against powerful politicians.

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